Brees, Payton in limited Hall of Fame appearances for New Orleans Saints
Written by  // Friday, 03 August 2012 10:04 //

payton2blueDrew Brees will be displaying his 2012 stuff after a long unfortunate contract dispute and the New Orleans Saints will be playing without their leader Sean Payton, the suspended Saints coach due to bountygate.  While Payton might be able to fly on the Tom Benson express to share in the Hall of Fame ceremony, he must go into NFL exile as per league mandates and miss the game, the first exhibition match this season.

Quarterback Drew Brees will play a series or two before turning the offense over  to Chase Daniels in Sunday's Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.


After Daniel, the Saints will play Luke McCowan and Sean Canfield at quarterback.

"I'm trying to take Drew Brees' spot, and I don't see any competition from any other quarterbacks here," said Brees, who is in his fourth season as a backup with the Saints."

Saints starting cornerbacks Jabari Greer (sports hernia) and Patrick Robinson (shoulder) will miss Sunday's game along with rookie wide receiver Nick Toon (foot).

Following the game, the Saints will fly to Foxborough, Mass., to work out against and play the Patriots next week.



Neither of the two Cardinals running backs in the mix for carries this season will play in the game against the Saints. Beanie Wells hasn't practiced yet, and Ryan Williams has been practicing, but he's coming off a ruptured patella tendon and the team isn't ready to put him on the field just yet.

Running backs available are scatback LaRod Stephens-Howling, recently signed Thomas Clayton and special teamer Anthony Sherman which means the Arizona fans are not going to get even a hint of how their running game will look this season.

The NFL has given permission to Sean Payton to attend Saturday's Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony, but not Sunday's game in Canton, Ohio. The league granted permission for the coach and his 12-year-old son to fly to Canton on Tom Benson's plane with the owner, the owner's wife, Gayle, and GM Mickey Loomis. Payton will have to call Ray Anderson, the league's executive vice-president of football operations, within 24 hours of any contact of anyone from an NFL team to detail his contact. He is bared from talking to anyone employed by an NFL team.

The six men who officially enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday have one thing in common: None have a Super Bowl ring. This is the first time in 30 years that this has happened...Former Oilers and Saints RB Earl Campbell said today's RBs are only "average" because the teams pass so much. Campbell, a Hall of Famer, said the emphasis today is on pass blocking.

Former LSU All-American CB Patrick Peterson's offseason wasn't consumed with football. He got married and he also worked on a new touchdown dance, something that will distinguish him from his boyhood idol Deion Sanders. "I'm trying to make up my own dance," said Peterson. "We'll see once I touch the end zone. I'm still doing a little tweaking."...Thought of the  day" "Bad decisions make good stories."...You may order your "Bounty Hunters" T-shirts at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. That's the black shirt that reads on the back: "This Year We're Doing It for Free."...


WWL Radio 870 has signed a three-year deal to broadcast Hornets. WWL will now carry Saints, LSU and Hornets games and coaches shows. Chris Claus, WWL GM, said the deal became possible when Tom Benson bought the NBA team earlier this year. Sean Kelley returns for his eighth season as play-by-play announcer for the Hornets with newcomer, The Times-Picayune columnist John DeShazier will be the color analyst and will host a postgame show and a Thursday night coach's show...


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(before they're gone)



New Orleans Saints Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Joe Vitt

Media Availability

Friday, August 3, 2012


What is the feeling that you get as you are leaving New Orleans for Canton and then New England?

“We have stayed on schedule with our install. We have stayed on schedule with everything that we wanted to get in. I am going to be honest with you, we are a little bit behind on our situational periods but we think that we can catch up on that on Monday when we get to New England. When we get to New England on Monday, we need to run and lift our players after the game and then get into some situational periods. That would be the only thing that we are a little behind in. Other than that, we feel that we are on course.”

Have you decided any snap number details?

“We talked about that in detail last night. I don’t want to talk about the snaps. I could say this to you, you guys know our program this year. We have done things the same way. If you go back and look at the Pittsburgh game we played in the Hall of Fame back in 2007, you will know exactly how we are going to play the game.”


Have you talked to coach (Ken) Whisenhunt at all about what you are going to be working on?

“Some do. We didn’t.”


What are you looking for on Sunday night?

“I think that is a great question. Number one, the evaluation process is going to be this, we have to know what a player’s physicality is. Physicality is going to fill what we are looking for. Number two, can he finish? Can he finish every play? Can he finish every series? Can he finish every down, quarter, and half? Then this, does the player know what to do? Does he know how to do it? Does he know what to do? Does he know how to get them? Those things are the things that we are looking at.”


Talk about Akiem Hicks being back and will he be able to play?

“What we have done with that, this was his first day in pads today. We are going to evaluate where we think he is right now. I think that we are sensitive to the fact that this is a Canadian kid coming out of a lower-class program and he hasn’t had the pads on. We will evaluate that today.”


What is the status of Nick Toon?

“He will not play.”


Patrick Robinson?

“He will not play.”


What is Nick Toon’s injury?

“He has a foot injury that we think is probably going to be anywhere from six to ten days.”


Who else will not play?

“Jabari Greer will not play.”

New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo 

Media Availability

Friday, August 03, 2012


What is the feeling as you leave the practices from these last couple of days and get ready to go play these games?

“I think by nature coaches always feel like they didn’t get enough work. So, I’m the same way. We have a long way to go. We have a lot of things to do. We looked a little sloppy out there today and there are some issues. But we’ll get them ironed out, that’s what practice is for. The one thing about playing in a game situation, it’s a game, they keep score and we play to win, so it gives our guys an opportunity to go out there and compete and go play in a game situation. So we’re looking forward to just being together, getting used to each other, how we work things on game day and taking step by step.”


What are your expectations going into this game?

“That’s a good one, I’m glad you asked that one first. When I visit with them (the defense) tonight it’s going to be about fundamentals.  The one thing we haven’t done is tackle, tackle to the ground, I would put that first on the list. Then it would be getting off blocks. And probably the third thing for me would be communication. We’re confident in the system that the guys are communicating enough confidently. And then things start to come together. So I’ll be looking for those three things.”


The way the practice is set up under the CBA, is tackling the one thing you miss the most from previous seasons?

“Unless I’m speaking out of turn here, we could go live. We just choose not to and I think that’s a good thing because we’re trying to keep our guys healthy. But again, on the defensive side, that’s one of the most important things we do. And the only way we’re going to get it right now, the way we structured it and the way Joe (Vitt) structured it and we agree with it is to get it in preseason games.”


Is there any one game that you’re looking to play a lot of man coverage so you can see who can play man to man?

“I think in the secondary that’s one of the better ways especially on the perimeter at corner to evaluate what you have. Put them in there in situations. So we’ll create those and do it but we have enough zone coverages in that we have to work on those too. To me zone coverage is just as important to see if guys will communicate and do what they’re supposed to do. It all goes hand in hand. But your point is well taken.”


What has this camp been like for you to work at defensive coordinator again?

“I’m loving it. First and foremost I consider myself a teacher. That’s what I enjoy. I enjoy teaching, I enjoy the fact that hopefully we can put something together that can be real successful and the guys can enjoy it. So I’m enjoying that and certainly in the position I’m at now, I get to do more teaching.” 

Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  


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